Written and Illustrated by Catherine Rayner
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010
Norris was wise.
The plot in a nutshell: A bear waits for a special fruit.
Norris the bear thinks plorringes are the best fruit and camps out under the plorringe tree, waiting for the last fruit to tall. Violet the mouse and Tulip the raccoon also love plorringes so they climb the tree to look closer at it and sniff at it. Tulip and Violet put their ear to the fruit to see if it makes any sounds and they hug it to enjoy its softness. Norris just waits. Suddenly, the fruit falls from the tree and hits Norris on the head. He’s happy to have the fruit and he shares it with Violet and Tulip, his two new friends.
Author/illustrator Catherine Rayner packs a few different messages in this book and they all work together beautifully. While wise Norris settles down to wait, Violet and Tulip rush in to get closer and this is what makes the fruit fall, making a good case for patience. And when Norris chooses to share the plorringe (which is just such a great name for a fictional fruit), Ms. Rayner points out that in addition to being wise, he is also kind.
The illustrations are wonderful. Norris is a bear-shaped collection of brown shapes, while Tulip combines grey and black shapes with white space to create a raccoon. The plorringe is gorgeously colored, moving from green through yellow and orange to a ripe and luscious red. The story’s text is simple and short, making this a good bedtime book for those nights when you don’t have as much time.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that sometimes when you share, you wind up getting more than if you kept it all to yourself.